During the last week of the year, many people focus on making changes in their lives. Whether you’re unemployed, or looking for a different career, you should definitely consider your job search as an area to change.
If you don’t have a job yet, it can’t hurt to try some new strategies. What better way to kick off a new year than with entirely new job search resolutions?
As you make your checklist of things you want to do different with your job search in 2014, consider the following:
1. Let Go of Baggage
So many people carry negatives from the past year into their future endeavors without realizing that their baggage often prevents forward momentum and success. If something went wrong in 2013, such as you didn’t get the job you wanted or you had a less than stellar interview, let it go. Don’t think about these events as failures or allow them to undermine your self-esteem. Instead, see them as teaching moments.
Write down anything positive and useful you learned from parts of your job search that didn’t go your way and then put the negatives behind you!
2. Redesign Your Resume
Advice about resume design hasn’t changed much over the last decade. Your resume shouldn’t be more than two pages. Ideally, it should only be one page. It shouldn’t overwhelm the reader with a lot of font styles and colors, or feature a lot of unnecessary personal details. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to draw attention to it with something different. For example, consider replacing black bullets with a splash of eye-catching color or add a QR code that links to an online video of you outlining your skills.
When in doubt, ask a college friend, professor or local career center to help you, or hire a professional resume writer.
3. Update Your Wardrobe
Interviewers often associate clothing colors and styles with career and personality traits. Stick to simple and conservative options for your first meeting. Well-fitted clothing makes the best impression. If you’re on a budget, find a single style of top or dress shirt in several positive career colors that you look great in that also matches different suits you own; or use new accessories, such as a tie, scarf, pocket handkerchief or necklace, to create different looks. If you can’t afford to buy at retail prices, check out end-of-season and pre/post holiday discount rack offerings or buy at thrift stores and consignment shops.
Used clothing stores typically offer more than retro professional styles. Some receive donations of newer fashions from department stores and price them at only a few dollars.
4. Reconnect With People
The best job search leads are usually referrals from people job seekers know. Make a list of your current and past friends, coworkers, supervisors, teachers and schoolmates and then do everything you can to reconnect with them. Typically, this method will result in at least one person who recommends an employer, knows of new job openings or has job search strategies you’ve yet to try. If you’re hesitant to reach out to people from your past by phone, break the ice by asking them to connect with you on social networks like Twitter and Facebook and job networking sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo.
Don’t forget to use this valuable resource to its fullest: Besides mentioning your job search, ask for references from people who know you well!
5. Make Twitter a Resource
Many employers now tweet links to new job postings on Twitter. Employers do this for several reasons: First, they want to make certain that a job applicant understands the importance of social networks. Second, they consider Twitter job seekers to be people who aren’t afraid to use technology to save time and improve their lives. Lastly, they consider traditional classified’s searching as a passive style of job searching; whereas, they recognize job seeker’s who use Twitter as active searchers.
An active searcher is often considered energetic and associated with being an out-of-the-box thinker and a dedicated, hard worker.
6. Broaden Your Search
Although you should narrow your job search to an occupation you think you’ll enjoy, you shouldn’t narrow job site options. Write down a list of things you would like and dislike in a new job and work site, including outdoor environmental conditions. Instead of sticking to a local area, consider jobs in other cities, towns or even countries that match the “likes” on your list. If you’re in a situation that requires you to remain in your local area, such as you care for elderly parents or your spouse has a great-paying local job, consider virtual employment options.
Perform online keyword searches for “freelance” or “telecommuting” jobs or check out virtual job employment sites, such as eLance, Guru.com, oDesk and iFreelance.
Do you have another job search resolution for 2014? Share them below by commenting!